Category Archives: American Idol

August 13, 2012, 12:15 pm

American Bromance: Paul Ryan, the Tea Party and the Recent History of Political Conservatism

Romney and Ryan: “I’ve got the money, honey, but you’ve got the brains.”

I felt so lucky to have read Ronald Formisano’s The Tea Party: A Brief History (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), since those of us who receive smartphone pushes from Politico.com woke up Saturday to a GOP conservative bromance of epic proportions. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, had at last decided on a running mate: it’s the cute little brother with a big mind, Paul Ryan.

As Yale political scientist Chris Lebron said on Facebook, “The most striking thing about Romney’s VP pick (and indeed Romney’s own candidacy) is not the nature of Ryan’s politics but the fact that it illustrates the GOP’s continued faith in, reliance upon, and commitment to the authority of white men. It’s 2012:…

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November 28, 2009, 7:46 am

Why I Hate Reality TV: And It’s Not Just Because It Is (Oxy)Moronic

Even though close friends of the Radical know that every once in a while I lapse into an intense fascination with American Idol, I hate reality TV. Except for the classic foremother of the genre, An American Family (1973), I’ve never seen one series that even approached something “real” that was worth knowing. But until now I have never been able to say why I hate them so much beyond a deep feeling that it is simply improper to make an ever so brief living by allowing a camera crew to violate your privacy for months. I also find reality TV boring: who watches Tori and Dean for example? Women who fantasize about a life folding laundry and talking to unemployed gay men who wander in and out for no reason?

Clearly I have reasons for hating reality TV that I have not been able to articulate, and it isn’t because it’s bad TV. I watch shows like Gossip Girl, Army Wives and the…

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April 5, 2009, 3:18 pm

Sunday Night Follies: In Which The Radical Answers Four Questions

And now, to lighten your Sunday night of grading, lecture writing and sorting your socks for the coming week, here are four answers to urgent questions, none of which have been asked by my fans.

What Zenith college publication is still available in a printed copy?

One of you got it right, but yesterday’s post gathered fewer guesses than I thought it would, so I’ll tell you. The answer is: the telephone directory, which can be requested; they print one up for you and send it in the next day’s office mail. This solution to an otherwise intractable problem was reached after a colleague of mine made an impassioned, and utterly sincere, plea on behalf of his departmental secretary, who was distraught at the change in her work environment wreaked by the loss of a printed Zenith telephone book. I was terribly grateful, and ordered one specially printed up too. Why? Because I can never…

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